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By: Mylen Manto | Published Saturday, October 26, 2019

Reported cases of the African Swine Fever have gone worse instead of becoming less intense, so Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia is considering extending beyond 100 days the ban on all pork and pork-related products coming from Luzon.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) earlier confirmed that longganisa, hotdog, and tocino which were hand-carried by an individual on his way to Mindoro from Luzon tested positive for ASF virus.

Earlier, in a meeting with Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Garcia had said that she can lift or discontinue the ban if the virus will be contained.

“What we are seeing now, it’s getting worse and worse. So we must continue to protect to Cebu,” Garcia told reporters.

Garcia stressed that there is “clear and present danger,” the reason that she issued a series of executive orders banning not just live hogs but also pork and pork related products from 22 countries affected with ASF and from Luzon.

Though ASF virus poses no harm to humans, it posts 100-percent mortality rate for swine.

“I want to state this, in no uncertain terms, though it may not supposedly harm humans but humans can be carriers of the ASF virus, clothing can be a carrier, the bacteria can also be carried in vehicles,” she said.         

“Ing-ana na ka highly contagious and highly dangerous we have to accept that,” she added, adding “We will not panic, but let us be afraid.”

There is a call to disclose the brand name of the processed food confiscated in Mindoro port, however, Garcia find this irrelevant. She said it’s not about finding out what is the name of the company, if these were all coming from Luzon because there is a possibility of this being infected.

At the risk of being called overreacting, she said she will stand by her decision to ban. The Local Government Code, particularly Section 16, grants her the power, for purposes of general welfare. (Mylen Manto)